Every year, millions of tourists (backpackers, solo travelers, couples, or families) visit Southeast Asia either; it’s for the beautiful beaches, the stunning temples, the bustling cities with rooftops, the crazy nightlife, the delicious food, or for medical purposes. One of the most visited countries in Southeast Asia (and in the world) is Thailand. And why is that? As you may know or noticed right away, is that Thailand can offer you everything I just mentioned. In addition to convenience, welcoming people, and inexpensive experiences, the people and this country may teach you how to live, or even better: show you how amazing life can be.
Knowing where the hospitals are located in Bangkok
As a solo traveler myself, I came to Thailand (Bangkok to be specific) for the first time in 2015. I was new in the city and had no idea of what Thailand was all about. I’m lucky that I had friends and family to show me the ropes of what to do and not to.
One important lesson learned: know where the hospitals are. And then to find the hospital that suited me best and get a health card. Usually, you’ll have to fill out a form for each visit (name, age, allergies, etc.), but with a health card at your preferred hospital, you’ll save a lot of time. Hospitals are also a good way of orientating yourself and knowing where you are in the city.
As you probably know, there are thousands of ways you can hurt yourself in a big city such as Bangkok. The traffic is not the safest, and most cars or motorbikes won’t stop when you’re crossing the road. You’re better off waiting for the red light when cars stop or are stuck in traffic (keep in mind to look for motorbikes that drive in between other vehicles). Also, you will most likely ride motorbike taxis without a helmet, unless you use Grab Bike (drivers should offer you a helmet as per Grab’s safety policy).
Health and travel insurance in Thailand
Most of the best hospitals in Bangkok are privately-owned hospitals. Therefore, you can expect to pay a bit more than the local hospital. But as long as you have health insurance that covers outpatient visits, you’ll be okay (outpatient means that you visit the hospital but are not hospitalized and have to spend the night there).
If you don’t have outpatient cover in your health insurance, I recommend getting that. The reason is quite simple: it’s quite annoying to pay 15 000 THB for stitching up a finger after a cooking accident (from personal experience).
Keep in mind that the top hospitals in Thailand are quite affordable if you compare the hospitals that offer the same quality of medical care to any Western country.
Anyway, if you don’t have health insurance or travel insurance, here is a good option for digital nomads:
Key features of SafetyWing travel insurance for nomads:
- It's a subscription based travel insurance, which makes it very flexible. Pick your start date, pay monthly, and cancel at any time;
- It's only $37 for 4 weeks ($68 if you add the US), which makes it an affordable travel insurance. This is 1/3 of the price of similar travel insurance companies;
- You can purchase the travel insurance while already traveling;
- You can add 1 child to the travel insurance without added cost (from 14 days to 10 years old. One per parent, maximum two per family);
- It's available for purchase in 180 countries;
- They offer worldwide coverage and limited home country coverage;
- Their policy is administered by Tokio Marine (one of the largest insurance companies in the world);
- They offer 24/7 support.
You can sign up for your travel insurance with SafetyWing by using the form below.
Now, don’t worry - Bangkok is quite safe as long as you stay alert, and it’s a city I highly recommend either it’s for short-term or long-term stays. Onto what this article is about: the top hospitals in Bangkok.
A list of the best hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand
Bumrungrad International Hospital
This is a great private hospital. I’ve personally used this hospital for various treatments and health check-ups. If you drop in, you usually wait no more than an hour for a doctor’s appointment. Even though an hour may seem long, the waiting time feels much shorter in this hospital.
The nurses that work at this hospital are very friendly. Normally, a nurse will come to check on you after ten to fifteen minutes, and you’ll go with the nurse for a health check-up (check blood pressure, body temperature, weight and so on) before visiting the doctor. If you schedule an appointment, it will go a bit faster, but not too much to be honest.
There are almost too many nurses there to take care of you. It seems a bit excessive - but that might be one of the reasons everything goes so fast there. Everything feels fast and smooth when visiting Bumrungrad International Hospital.
Here is some general information:
- Bumrungrad International Hospital is a highly renowned hospital in Thailand and the whole Asia Pacific;
- It specializes in medical tourism;
- It’s one of the largest privately-owned hospitals in Southeast Asia;
- It was founded in 1980;
- It’s listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET);
- This medical facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and world-class infrastructure;
- The hospital houses an outstanding team of doctors;
- The hospital treats over 1.1 million patients every year, with almost half of them being international patients from 190 countries;
- There are pick-up and drop-off services to and from the hospital;
- It has around 150 global interpreters;
- It has its own counter for Visa extension and related services;
- It has a Muslim prayer room with a capacity for 300 people;
- It offers Embassy assistance if needed;
- It can arrange accommodation and on-arrival hotel reservations.
Address: 33 Soi Sukhumvit 3, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
This is another excellent private hospital in Bangkok. I have no personal experience from this hospital, but I have many friends that have used and still use this hospital. This is yet another hospital where things go fast, and the staff is friendly. My next hospital visit (which I hope isn’t soon), will be Samitivej, as it’s closed to my area.
Here is some general information:
- Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital is conveniently located in Sukhumvit area (Phrom Phong / Thong Lo), so it’s quite easy to find and access;
- The hospital is an award-winning facility providing internationally accredited quality healthcare;
- The hospital has been recognized as a provider of choice for both local residents and expats;
- It was built in 1979, and offers approximately 275 beds;
- It has more than 400 specialists;
- It provides immigration and interpretation services;
- It primarily caters to international expat communities (Westerners and Japanese);
- It is increasingly drawing medical travelers from China, South Asia, and the Middle East;
- It’s a leading center for medical tourism in Southeast Asia;
- It became the first hospital in Thailand to be recognized as a Mother and Baby Friendly Hospital by WHO and UNICEF.
Address: 133 Klang Alley, Sukhumvit 49, Khlong Tan, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
This hospital holds the pride of being recognized as the First International Private Hospital in the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). It’s a pioneer in providing tertiary medical care for Women’s Health, with a special for Orthopedics & Spine surgery. It also holds one of Southeast Asia’s best reproductive care centers (Bangkok International Fertility Center).
Here is some general information:
- BNH Hospital was established in 1996;
- The hospital has around 440 doctors and 120 beds;
- It was formerly known as Bangkok Nursing Home (established in 1898);
- It’s one of the oldest private hospitals in Thailand;
- It’s a world-class hospital with outstanding medical services at an affordable price;
- It can provide complex surgeries of Bone & Spine Surgery, Minimal Invasive Surgery, Fertility and International Travel Medicine;
- It can offer help with Medical Visas and interpreters;
- It can provide assistance with transportation and accommodation.
Address: 9/1 Convent Road, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Bangkok International Hospital
Like Bumrungrad mentioned earlier, this hospital specializes in medical tourism. Bangkok International Hospital is considered one of the leaders in cutting-edge medical technology and equipment in Thailand, and consist of several medical centers with a focus on brain treatment, bone, and spine treatment, integrated care services and rehabilitation. The hospital is connected to Bangkok Hospital, Bangkok Heart Hospital and Bangkok Cancer Hospital (Wattanasoth).
Address: 2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchburi Road, Bangkapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand
Which hospital should you choose?
Any of them. The hospitals mentioned in this article are world-class. Whichever you decide to visit, you will most likely receive excellent care. Clearly, if you need immediate medical attention, the most important thing is to get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
I’m pleased with the care and services at Bumrungrad, but I’m quite confident that I would be satisfied with the other hospitals as well. If you wish to learn about other hospitals not mentioned in this article, you can go here.